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‘Person of interest’ in fatal shooting of off-duty Pittsburgh cop turns self in: police

A “person of interest” has surrendered in connection with the fatal shooting of an off-duty Pittsburgh police officer earlier this week

Authorities said Christian Bey was in custody on an unrelated charge, and was reportedly being questioned in the death of Officer Calvin Hall.

Westlake Legal Group POLICE-STUFF 'Person of interest' in fatal shooting of off-duty Pittsburgh cop turns self in: police fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox news fnc/us fnc Bradford Betz article afed9c12-d89d-5873-8178-79c58d127706

Christian Bey, is a person of interest in the fatal shooting of off-duty Pittsburgh officer Calvin Hall.  (Allegheny County; Point Park University Police Department)

Hall, 36, was shot and killed in Homewood early Sunday morning after officers responded to a call regarding a man who was waving a gun, police said.

That suspect – identified as 44-year-old Douglas Watson Sr. – was arrested by authorities. But the arrest provoked an argument between relatives of Hall and friends of Watson, police said. Hall tried to deescalate the situation but was shot several times in the back at close range, Pittsburgh’s KDKA-TV reported.

ALABAMA POLICE OFFICER SHOT, SUSPECT DEAD AFTER ARMED ROBBERY TURNS INTO SHOOTOUT IN DOWNTOWN BIRMINGHAM

Hall, a two-year veteran of the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, remained in critical condition until succumbing to his injuries Wednesday.

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Police said Bey turned himself in Thursday evening on a parole violation, KDKA reported. He has multiple drug and firearms convictions and had recently completed a two-year sentence, according to the station.  Bey is reportedly a resident of the street where Hall was shot.

Westlake Legal Group POLICE-STUFF 'Person of interest' in fatal shooting of off-duty Pittsburgh cop turns self in: police fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox news fnc/us fnc Bradford Betz article afed9c12-d89d-5873-8178-79c58d127706   Westlake Legal Group POLICE-STUFF 'Person of interest' in fatal shooting of off-duty Pittsburgh cop turns self in: police fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/pennsylvania fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime/homicide fox news fnc/us fnc Bradford Betz article afed9c12-d89d-5873-8178-79c58d127706

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‘Don’t Label Clients as the Problem’: General Counsel Respond to Claims They Are At Fault for Mental Health Crisis

Prompted by a LinkedIn post by NetApp GC Matt Fawcett, in-house leaders push back on attorneys’ allegations that corporate law departments are to blame for the mental health crisis in the legal profession.

Westlake Legal Group legal-news 'Don't Label Clients as the Problem': General Counsel Respond to Claims They Are At Fault for Mental Health Crisis

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Westlake Legal Group Matthew-Fawcett-Article-201907190113 'Don't Label Clients as the Problem': General Counsel Respond to Claims They Are At Fault for Mental Health Crisis

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Chevy breaks the mold with faster, more sophisticated 2020 Corvette Stingray

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TUSTIN, Calif. — The radical new 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray looks like a spaceship or fighter jet, but its superpower is gravity, not flight.

In the biggest change in America’s greatest sports car’s 66-year history, engineers moved the eighth-generation ‘Vette’s engine from its familiar location under the hood to behind the passengers, over the rear axle.

That’s because gravity was an ally, not a foe as Chevy worked to let the ‘Vette put more power on the road than ever before, chief engineer Tadge Juechter told me in an early look at the sports car that debuted Thursday night.

“We began exploring possibilities in 2005,” two full generations of the Corvette ago, Juechter said.

With 60% of the car’s weight over the rear axle — the proportion super car maker Ferrari traditionally pursues — gravity pushes the rear wheels down onto the road so they don’t spin, inaugurating a future of faster and more maneuverable Corvettes.

The result? Zero to 60 mph in less than 3 seconds and more technology and luxury than ever before in a car that remains unmistakably a Stingray.

The changes are so profound that some longtime Corvette fans swore Chevy ruined the car before they saw one without camouflage, sat in the driver seat or learned how quick it was.

I’ve done all three.

Classic V8 sound and power

The engine is GM’s classic small block V8, a normally aspirated 6.2L that produces 495 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. Both figures are up from the previous base model. The sky’s the limit as GM develops engines for even higher performance models like the ZO6 and ZR1.

A new eight-speed dual-clutch transmission promises lightning fast shifts and smooth operation. Designed specifically for the eighth-gen C8 ‘Vette, the DCT is programmed to rev high and shift fast, changing gears at the moment the engine reaches peak horsepower and revving down to the point of maximum torque for uninterrupted acceleration.

More: Here’s how the new Corvette Stingray could morph into a ‘fire-breathing monster’

There’s no manual transmission, a Corvette first that’s certain to be a bone of contention with the car’s critics.

Everybody’s entitled to their opinion, but a good dual-clutch transmission is faster, smoother and more efficient than a manual. Chevy made the right choice, but included paddle shifters for dedicated do-it-yourselfers.

Despite its radical engineering makeover, the C8 is immediately recognizable as a Corvette. Moving the engine behind the passenger compartment changed the proportions, but not the car’s personality. The LED running lights, fenders, “waterline” crease and square taillights all say “Corvette.

The driver sits lower in a cockpit that moved 16 inches forward from the previous car. The hood is lower, for a better view of the road. The roof is  four tenths of an inch lower, the wheelbase is a half inch longer. The car grew 5.4 inches longer, but the new proportions keep it from looking bulky.

High-end materials, no tuning dial

The interior is a revelation, crafted specifically to address the most consistent complaint about recent Corvettes: great car, chintzy passenger compartment. Other than buttons and switches, there’s not a piece of plastic to be seen. Everything that isn’t wrapped in leather is carbon fiber, aluminum or ballistic nylon on high-wear areas like seat bolsters.

There’s 1 inch more seat travel.

The center console loses the conventional shift lever to toggles and buttons. They look intuitive, but time will tell.

A big touchscreen angles toward the driver for easy use, with a nearby leather wrist rest on the center console. The audio system has a dial for volume, but not one for tuning. Narrow vents across the dashboard provide air flow.

Controls both occupants will use — temperature, heated and ventilated seats, etc. — are easy to reach in the middle of the car.

On first inspection, the 2020 Stingray’s only trade-off seems to be that it lost the yawning rear luggage compartment that made the old car surprisingly practical. In exchange, the ’20 Corvette has a pair of smaller trunks, one behind the engine, one in its nose. The rear compartment will hold a pair of full-size golf bags, or a set of Corvette-branded luggage, but total luggage space is down 16%, from 15 cubic feet in a 2019 Corvette coupe to 12.6 in the 2020. The Stingray’s removable roof fits in the rear trunk, making it easy to enjoy open-topped driving.

Selected features on the 2020 Stingray

  • 495-hp 6.2L V8
  • Eight-speed dual clutch automatic transmission by Tremec
  • Cylinder deactivation
  • Electronic limited slip differential
  • Front and rear trunks
  • Removable roof
  • Standard all-season tires
  • Magnetic Ride Control adaptive suspension
  • Front suspension raises 1.6 inches for steep driveways, etc.
  • GPS memory to recall 1,000 locations that require the raised front
  • 12 exterior colors
  • Six seat belt colors
  • Three seat options
  • Aluminum structure, composite exterior panels
  • Right- and left-hand drive versions
  • Glass cover to make the engine visible
  • 10- or 14-speaker Bose audio

Follow Mark Phelan on Twitter: @mark_phelan

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2019/07/18/2020-chevy-corvette-stingray/1774509001/

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Jim Hanson: US downing of Iranian drone is a warning to stop aggression and support for terrorism

Westlake Legal Group iran-missle-Getty Jim Hanson: US downing of Iranian drone is a warning to stop aggression and support for terrorism Jim Hanson fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world fox-news/tech/topics/us-navy fox-news/politics/defense/pentagon fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc ba1dfe99-874c-5b47-933e-5f954c73acd9 article

When a U.S. Navy ship downed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz Thursday it sent an important message to the mullahs who rule the Islamic Republic: aggression has consequences and America will strike back when provoked.

During the Obama administration, Iran’s leaders figured out that President Barack Obama was desperate to secure his place in history by reaching a deal to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

So Iran took advantage of Obama’s desperation. The Iranians engaged in terrorism, supported anti-American and anti-Israel fighters, helped Syrian dictator Bashar Assad wage a civil war, and won Obama’s approval of a badly flawed nuclear deal that simply delayed Iran’s entry into the nuclear club for a few years.

TRUMP: US WARSHIP DESTROYED IRANIAN DRONE IN STRAIT OF HORMUZ

Much to the disappointment of the mullahs, President Trump has made clear he is no pushover. Recognizing that the Iran nuclear deal was a bad bargain he withdrew the U.S. from the agreement and placed crippling economic sanctions on Iran.

Iran is now taking aggressive actions in the Persian Gulf and threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz, cutting off oil shipments, to get sanctions relief. But unlike Obama, Trump is playing hardball and not giving in to Iranian threats.

In announcing the downing of the Iranian drone Thursday in a defensive action by a Navy warship appropriately named the USS Boxer, President Trump said: “The U.S. reserves the right to defend personnel, facilities, interests.” The president said the drone came within 1,000 yards of the U.S. ship and ignored several calls to stand down.

Trump called the flight of the drone within the USS Boxer’s defensive perimeter a “hostile” action by Iran.

U.S. officials told Fox News that Marines aboard the Navy ship downed the drone with electronic jamming equipment.

The Iranians have been pushing to find how out far they could go before drawing a U.S. response. Now they know.

There have been several months’ worth of provocations by Iran in the shipping lanes of the Persian Gulf and by its proxies in the region. I have previously said that a U.S. response was necessary to let the mullahs know that free transit of all vessels in this waterway is a vital U.S. interest.

President Trump couldn’t let Iran’s latest aggressive action pass without a response if he expects Iran and other nations to respect the U.S. and not conclude they can attack our forces at will, without fear of retaliation

President Trump couldn’t let Iran’s latest aggressive action pass without a response if he expects Iran and other nations to respect the U.S. and not conclude they can attack our forces at will, without fear of retaliation.

The U.S. action knocking the Iranian drone out of commission appears to have most likely fallen within the normal rights of an American ship to protect itself. This was an act of self-defense.

Depending on the amount of time the drone spent probing the defenses of the U.S. ship, the U.S. commander may have had time to send word up the chain of command. But all our warships have rules of engagement allowing them to take action against imminent threats.

This becomes more interesting, however, in light of reports that Iran seized a United Arab Emirates oil tanker and is claiming this was an anti-smuggling operation.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps of Iran announced Thursday that it had detained a foreign oil tanker it said had been smuggling fuel – days after a UAE vessel with the same name disappeared in the Persian Gulf.

It is unwise to take any statement coming from Iran at face value. In this case, the Revolutionary Guards run a lot of oil smuggling operations themselves, trying to evade sanctions to generate hard currency. It’s possible the UAE ship was a competitor that Iran decided to take out.

But it’s also entirely possible that the seizure of the UAE tanker and the probing of a U.S. Navy ship by the Iranian drone were provocations designed to show Iran can disrupt maritime traffic and energy supplies. That could prompt an increase in oil prices, which would benefit Iran.

There have been hints from the Iranian regime that it is considering negotiations with the U, S. Iran has a long habit of being especially badly behaved prior to any potential talks. This tactic worked well with the Obama administration to help get concessions.

While he would certainly like to make a better nuclear deal with Iran, President Trump does not want to be disrespected or intimidated in the process. But the mullahs don’t seem to have changed their strategy to fit the new sheriff in town.

The Iran nuclear deal approved by Obama did little to stop Iran from its goal of becoming a nuclear power because it had a fatal flaw. Sunset clauses in the agreement would have given Iran free rein to run a fully legitimate nuclear program in as little as a decade. The idea that the Iranians have any intention of making a deal that actually shuts off that path is pretty farfetched.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Still, President Trump is right to explore a new Iran deal – though with a very skeptical eye. But clearly – unlike Obama – Trump’s patience for Iran’s terrorist attacks across the Middle East has run out.

If the Iranians leaders are smart, they’ll realize Donald Trump is no Barack Obama and agree to real changes in their aggressive behavior in the region and a meaningful nuclear deal. Or the Iranians can raise the stakes and see if Trump folds. Obama always did, but Trump is a much better card player and knows he holds a better hand.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY JIM HANSON

Westlake Legal Group iran-missle-Getty Jim Hanson: US downing of Iranian drone is a warning to stop aggression and support for terrorism Jim Hanson fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world fox-news/tech/topics/us-navy fox-news/politics/defense/pentagon fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc ba1dfe99-874c-5b47-933e-5f954c73acd9 article   Westlake Legal Group iran-missle-Getty Jim Hanson: US downing of Iranian drone is a warning to stop aggression and support for terrorism Jim Hanson fox-news/world/conflicts/iran fox-news/world fox-news/tech/topics/us-navy fox-news/politics/defense/pentagon fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox news fnc/opinion fnc ba1dfe99-874c-5b47-933e-5f954c73acd9 article

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Biscuits start baking inside hot car in Nebraska as part of weather experiment

Westlake Legal Group biscuits-1 Biscuits start baking inside hot car in Nebraska as part of weather experiment Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/nebraska fox-news/us/disasters/warnings fox-news/odd-news fox-news/food-drink/food fox news fnc/science fnc article 84edfd08-ac4d-5149-bbb8-cf06af4f0875

The National Weather Service in Nebraska demonstrated the effects of the brutal heat by trying to bake biscuits using nothing but a car and the sun.

In a series of tweets on Thursday, the National Weather Service in Omaha and Valley posted updates on the biscuit experiment over the course of eight hours.

“We actually were going to do cookies, but the store didn’t have cookies so it’s biscuits,” Hallie Bova, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Valley, told the Omaha World-Herald. “I thought it would be fun to try.”

EXCESSIVE HEAT SPREADS FROM PLAINS TO EAST COAST

The experiment was conducted as an excessive heat warning had been issued for much of eastern Nebraska through 7 p.m. on Saturday by the National Weather Service. The high in Omaha on Thursday was 92 degrees with a heat index of 103.

The first tweet said, “If you are wondering if it’s going to be hot today, we are attempting to bake biscuits using only the sun and a car in our parking lot. We will keep you posted with the progress. Stay cool!”

MASSIVE HEAT WAVE TO ‘SCORCH’ TWO-THIRDS OF US THROUGH WEEKEND, NWS WARNS

The biscuit dough was placed on a cookie sheet inside an enclosed vehicle on Thursday morning along with a thermometer.

The biscuits usually take about 14 to 17 minutes in 350-degree heat to bake, the newspaper reported.

The next tweet included a picture of the biscuits and included the caption, “45 minutes in. Biscuits are rising.”

The following update posted about an hour after the initial tweet said, “The pan has reached 175 degrees in 60 minutes and the tops of the biscuits are at 153.”

It added, “This is a good time to remind everyone that your car does in fact get deadly hot. Look before you lock! On average 38 children die in hot cars each year. Don’t be a statistic!”

Locksmiths and emergency personnel were called to free children inadvertently locked in at least two cars on Wednesday, the Herald reported.

About five hours later, the Omaha National Weather Service posted another update, writing, “Top of the biscuits are baked but the bottom remains doughy. But more interestingly, the temperature of the back seat in the shade is 144 degrees!”

The last update said, “after nearly 8 hours in the sun, the outside of the biscuit is actually edible. The middle is still pretty doughy though. The max temp on the pan was 185!”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

The tweet included the hashtags #HeatSafety and #LookBeforeYouLock.

The dangerously high temperatures and humidity could quickly cause heat stroke, according to the heat advisory, which reminded people to take extra precautions while working or spending time outside.

Westlake Legal Group biscuits-1 Biscuits start baking inside hot car in Nebraska as part of weather experiment Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/nebraska fox-news/us/disasters/warnings fox-news/odd-news fox-news/food-drink/food fox news fnc/science fnc article 84edfd08-ac4d-5149-bbb8-cf06af4f0875   Westlake Legal Group biscuits-1 Biscuits start baking inside hot car in Nebraska as part of weather experiment Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/nebraska fox-news/us/disasters/warnings fox-news/odd-news fox-news/food-drink/food fox news fnc/science fnc article 84edfd08-ac4d-5149-bbb8-cf06af4f0875

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Cummings: Trump doesn't know how it feels to be treated 'like less than a dog'

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Cummings: Trump doesn't know how it feels to be treated 'like less than a dog'

The Democratic-led US House of Representatives on Tuesday voted to condemn President Donald Trump’s “racist comments” against four congresswomen of color. (July 16) AP, AP

WASHINGTON – Saying President Donald Trump does not fully comprehend how it feels to be treated “like less than a dog,” Rep. Elijah Cummings on Thursday explained that the president’s recent “go back” comments have sparked memories of racist attacks he experienced as a child in Baltimore.

Cummings, D-Maryland, said that he was attacked by a white mob, who taunted and threw rocks and bottles at him and several other Black kids seeking to integrate a pool in South Baltimore, when he was just 11 years old, according to an interview with the Baltimore Sun.

He said that on that day in 1962, he heard shouts from the mob saying: “Go back where you came from,” the Sun reported. 

“I don’t think these Republicans or Trump fully understand what it feels like to be treated like less than a dog,” Cummings said to the Sun. “I’m feeling the same things that I felt when these white folks down in South Baltimore were throwing rocks and bottles at me. But now, I feel like it’s the president of the United States doing it.”

Trump on Sunday bashed four Democratic congresswomen of color on Twitter, calling on them to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” 

More: What we know about the ‘send her back’ chants that erupted at Trump’s North Carolina rally

More: ‘Send her back’ Trump rally chant heightens calls for increased security for Rep. Omar

The four progressive Democrats, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., have pushed back against Trump, calling his remarks “racist,” “xenophobic,” and “bigoted.” Trump has doubled down on his remarks and claimed the comments are not racist.

All four congresswomen are U.S. citizens, with three being born in the United States. Omar immigrated from Somalia over 20 years and is a naturalized U.S. citizen.

The House voted Tuesday to formally condemn Trump’s tweets as racist, by a 240-187 vote

Distracter in chief: Trump draws on familiar playbook with attacks on women lawmakers of color

The president’s attacks took on a new dimension Wednesday evening during his rally in North Carolina. While criticizing the four Democratic lawmakers, colloquially known as “The Squad,” chants of “send her back” erupted when Trump mentioned Omar.

Trump has since distanced himself from the chant, and some Republicans have condemned the chanting by the president’s supporters.

Democrats have come to Omar’s defense, blasting the chants and the president. And leading Democrats in the House have raised concerns about Omar’s safety and that of the three other progressive lawmakers amid Trump’s continued attacks. 

More: Rep. John Lewis on Trump tweets: ‘I know racism when I see it’

‘Where are you in this?’: Meghan McCain calls out Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner

Cummings said that it’s “painful” to talk about his past experiences of racism, and that those experiences stay with you for the rest of your life.

“When you do things to children, it’s not the deed, it’s the memory. Because they never forget,” the Maryland Democrat said. “So, it became a part of my DNA.”

Despite Trump’s comments dominating the news cycle, Cummings said that he is going to continue to focus on doing work for “generations unborn” of all races, the Sun reported.

“I keep reminding our speaker and I keep reminding The Squad that we must be effective and efficient,” he said. “That’s what I concentrate on, the big picture.”

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Cummings: Trump doesn't know how it feels to be treated 'like less than a dog'

The Democratic-led US House voted to condemn President Donald Trump’s Twitter comments against four congresswomen of color. USA TODAY

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Toys ‘R’ Us Is Coming Back But With A Different Approach

Westlake Legal Group new-toys-r-us-store-concept-rendering-2-d6b31570e32e5c903cfe42e9774b7a77431ee1aa-s1100-c15 Toys 'R' Us Is Coming Back But With A Different Approach

The retailer is rebranding itself with smaller stores and a focus on events and activities. Toys “R” Us hide caption

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Toys “R” Us

Westlake Legal Group  Toys 'R' Us Is Coming Back But With A Different Approach

The retailer is rebranding itself with smaller stores and a focus on events and activities.

Toys “R” Us

Toys”R”Us is rising from the ashes. Now Americans may not have to go another Christmas without its once beloved toy store.

The retailer is making a comeback in time for the 2019 holiday season with a new approach. Instead of providing mile-long aisles filled with a plethora of toys, the company is switching its focus to smaller stores that will feature interactive toy demonstrations, spaces for special events like birthday parties, new activities every day and open play areas.

The plan was announced Thursday after Tru Kids Brand, the parent of Toys”R”Us, entered a joint venture with the startup b8ta, which owns a chain of “experiential” stores. The retailer has relaunched its website, touting an experience “centered around product discovery and engagement.”

Although preferences and consumer shopping habits have changed over the years, “what hasn’t changed is that kids want to touch everything and simply “play,” said Phillip Raub, president of b8ta and interim co-CEO of the Toys”R”Us joint venture.

Consumers will have the opportunity to play with toys displayed out of the box before potentially purchasing them. The company believes that this immersive experience, for example, will help it track patterns and measure how in-store retail experiences effect online sales.

Westlake Legal Group new-toys-r-us-store-concept-rendering-bd28633eadc7b10bcfa3d2cdecf9b2c596564af4-s800-c15 Toys 'R' Us Is Coming Back But With A Different Approach

The first new stores will be in Texas and New Jersey. Toys “R” Us hide caption

toggle caption

Toys “R” Us

Westlake Legal Group  Toys 'R' Us Is Coming Back But With A Different Approach

The first new stores will be in Texas and New Jersey.

Toys “R” Us

After officially closing its doors in nearly 200 locations in 2017, Toys”R”Us open the two new stores in The Galleria in Houston, Texas, and in the Westfield Garden State Plaza in Paramus, N.J.

The stores will be nearly 6,500 square feet — roughly one third the size of its big-box stores.

The joint partnership plans to open 10 additional stores in “prime, high-traffic retail markets” within the U.S. throughout 2020. Future store locations are planned to be about 10,000 square feet.

They’ll be “the most progressive and advanced stores in its category in the world, and we hope to surprise and delight kids for generations to come,” Vibhu Norby, CEO of b8ta said.

As NPR previously reported, the chain employed more than 30,000 people in the U.S. before the bankruptcy. Tru Kids Brands said it wants to give hiring priority to former employees.

Toys”R”Us declared bankruptcy after struggling with a heavy load of debt caused by a buyout in 2005, including competition from Amazon, Target and Walmart. The company owed more than $5 million.

Even as it went bankrupt, the original Toys”R”Us accounted for about a fifth of toy sales in the U.S.

Tru Kids Brands currently operates more than 700 stores outside the U.S.

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Trump Says U.S. Downs Iranian Drone, Refueling Tensions as Both Nations Dig In

Westlake Legal Group merlin_158110860_e43faad4-d753-4769-b40b-88993eb67aeb-facebookJumbo Trump Says U.S. Downs Iranian Drone, Refueling Tensions as Both Nations Dig In United States Politics and Government United States Navy United States Defense and Military Forces Trump, Donald J Strait of Hormuz Iran Drones (Pilotless Planes) Defense Department

WASHINGTON — The American military downed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday in what President Trump called an act of self-defense, just hours after Iran’s chief diplomat offered a modest road map for easing tensions with the United States.

Officials said the uncrewed, relatively small drone came within 1,000 yards of the Boxer, a United States amphibious assault ship in the strait. It was not known if the drone was armed, but a Pentagon spokesman, Jonathan Hoffman, said that it had “closed within a threatening range” before being shot down over international waters.

Mr. Trump described it as “the latest of many provocative and hostile actions by Iran.”

Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, appeared to brush off the president’s broadside. “The drone issue is being investigated, but based on the latest news I have from Tehran, we have no information about losing a drone,” he told reporters at the United Nations.

At the United Nations headquarters, he said he was willing to discuss possible ways out of the crisis that erupted after Mr. Trump last year withdrew the United States from a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers.

The day’s events captured the precarious crossroads where the adversaries of 40 years now find themselves. Earlier, the State Department accused Iran of “continued harassment of vessels” in the strait after Iranian news media reported the seizure of a vessel conducting what it said was a smuggling operation.

The Trump administration and parts of the Iranian government have each appeared to be desperately seeking an off-ramp, aware that any move from shadowboxing to open conflict could be disastrous.

But both have dug themselves in.

In New York, Mr. Zarif initially appeared determined to calm tensions with the United States. For the first time, he floated an opening bid of modest steps that Tehran would be willing to take as part of new talks between the two adversaries.

The proposal would accelerate what the nuclear accord envisions as a “transition day,” now scheduled for 2023. That is when Iran formally ratifies an agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency to allow far more intrusive inspections of the country, including sites that Tehran has never declared as nuclear-related.

In return, under the agreement, Congress would have to act to lift virtually all American sanctions on Iran.

The offer is all but certain to be rejected by the Trump administration, which describes Iran as increasingly desperate as sanctions take full effect. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has often said that sanctions will only be lifted in return for an agreement that permanently ends Iran’s production of nuclear fuel, limits its missile program to purely defensive weapons and ends its support for terrorist groups.

Yet on Thursday, Mr. Zarif insisted that Iran would never back away from its missile program while the United States arms its Arab adversaries with similar weapons. But he described each of Tehran’s recent steps to escalate its uranium enrichment as carefully calibrated — and said they “could be reversed” if the United States backed away from sanctions that were imposed once Mr. Trump left the nuclear deal.

Still, the Iranian diplomat struck a philosophical tone if nothing came of efforts to restart negotiations.

“We will survive, we will prosper, long after President Trump is gone,” he said. “Our time slots are in millennia.”

He also said “we came a few minutes away from a war” last month after Tehran shot down an American surveillance drone.

“Prudence prevailed,” Mr. Zarif said.

In that case, Washington and Tehran disagreed over whether the drone was flying over international waters. The Trump administration considered retaliating with military strikes against a handful of Iranian targets, like radar and missile batteries. At the time, officials said Mr. Trump had approved the strikes.

But with minutes to spare and planes already headed to their targets, the president abruptly pulled back to prevent what he said would have been the deaths of about 150 Iranians. He also said the number of deaths would not be “proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone.”

Earlier on Thursday, the Iranian news media reported that the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps had detained a foreign oil tanker it said had been smuggling fuel, just days after a United Arab Emirates vessel with the same name disappeared in the Persian Gulf.

Mr. Zarif also played down the episode, saying it was a small ship, not a tanker, and was carrying about one million liters of fuel. He described it as a typical smuggling operation.

About 20 percent of the world’s oil passes through the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow Persian Gulf waterway that is a vital conduit for maritime petroleum traffic.

The vessel and its country of origin were not identified. But an account published by PressTV, an official English-language Iranian website, included a video clip it said had been provided by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, showing the vessel’s name on its stern as the Riah. That is the name of the Emirati ship, incommunicado since late Saturday while it had been traveling in the Persian Gulf.

A Revolutionary Guards statement said the episode took place to the south of Iran’s Larak Island.

In Washington, the State Department demanded the immediate release of the ship and crew.

American officials have blamed Iran for apparent attacks on tankers in May and June, which came after new sanctions that aimed to cut off its ability to sell oil, a pillar of its economy. Iran has denied involvement.

In remarks at the White House on Thursday, Mr. Trump said that the Iranian drone had ignored multiple calls to stand down before it was destroyed.

A Defense Department official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the episode, said the drone was downed by jamming equipment aboard the Boxer that forced it to lose control and crash. The wingspan is said to be about a dozen feet.

The Boxer, an amphibious assault ship, can launch attack jets and helicopters from its landing deck. It is one of several ships in a ready group of Marines and aircraft from the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

Also on Thursday, the Treasury Department issued new sanctions against five people and seven businesses that it said provided sensitive material to suspicious parts of Iran’s nuclear program.

In a statement, officials said front companies in China and Belgium obtained aluminum and other metals for Iran’s Centrifuge Technology Company, which is involved in Tehran’s uranium enrichment program.

In his comments to journalists — at the Iranian mission to the United Nations, one of only three buildings where he is allowed to be while in the United States — Mr. Zarif said he was willing to meet with American senators to discuss ways to defuse the tensions.

He was coy about whether he planned to meet with Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, who has proposed himself as a quiet emissary to Iran from the Trump administration.

“I am seeing people from Congress,” said Mr. Zarif, nonetheless insisting he would talk with Mr. Paul only “as a respected representative,” rather than as an emissary from Mr. Trump or Mr. Pompeo.

But Mr. Trump cast doubt on reports that he would consider allowing Mr. Paul to negotiate with Iran on the administration’s behalf. “I didn’t appoint him,” the president told reporters.

“All we want to do is have a fair deal,” Mr. Trump said.

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MSNBC Personalities Dangerously Push Fake Story About CBP Holding Kids Hostage at O’Hare Airport

Westlake Legal Group fake-news-1024x578-620x350 MSNBC Personalities Dangerously Push Fake Story About CBP Holding Kids Hostage at O’Hare Airport Rachel Maddow Politics MSNBC kids Inciting Violence hostage Gross Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story False Story fake news democrats dangerous Chicago O'Hare CBP airport

Social media was set abaze this afternoon with allegations of CBP holding kids hostage. Rachel Maddow and an MSNBC contributor spread the patently absurd story, accusing CBP of purposely keeping three children in custody at Chicago O’Hare Airport to try to lure the parents in for detainment. This makes no sense for a variety of reasons and turned out to be completely false, which we’ll cover in a moment.

But first, here’s the accusations.

It’s pretty infuriating to see this pampered liberal pretend she’s fighting Nazis by spreading fake accusations of which she had no verification of.

So what actually happened?

Three children showed up at O’Hare with an adult cousin. The adult cousin (a Mexican citizen) was found not eligible for entry. This happens to thousands of people of all races and ethnic backgrounds every single day at ports of entry across the United States. There is a laundry list of reasons why someone might be found inadmissible and having a visa does not automatically get you through customs, nor does even having a U.S. passport for that matter.

At that point, CBP contacted the mother of the children. It is required by law that she or another legal guardian come take custody of them. Because she is an illegal alien though, she didn’t want to go to the airport. Instead, for the next 13 hours, she played games by sending a lawyer down there and eventually officials from the Mexican consulate. Some are trying to blame CBP for the kids being there so long, but it’s clearly the mother’s fault. She could have sent the Pope down there and the law still doesn’t allow CBP to hand children over to non-guardians.

Finally, after much negotiation, the mother herself decided to show up and the children were given to her. There was no trap and the children were not being used as bait. CBP were simply following the law. Furthermore, CBP doesn’t do interior enforcement, ICE does, so the entire premise was ridiculous from the beginning.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) also tried to get a photo-op out of this and only made things worse.

U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky had just landed at O’Hare International Airport from Washington, D.C. when she got word of the girls’ situation and headed over to the International Terminal as the situation was unfolding Thursday afternoon.

”I feel that it’s a kind of kidnapping of children by our government and I am really fed up,” Schakowsky said. “They created a situation that didn’t have to be and I am so resentful for this.”

Schakowsky attempted to meet with children to check their well being before they were released but said agents didn’t allow her.

Of course she wasn’t allowed to check on them. CBP can’t let strangers, even if they are elected officials, in to see children that aren’t theirs. No one “kidnapped” anyone and that kind of language is incredibly inciting and dangerous.

This kind of garbage is going to get someone else killed. We’ve already had one person die this past week after being incited to try to firebomb an ICE facility he was convinced was a “concentration camp,” clearly motivated by the rhetoric Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was using. No Democrat has condemned the attack nor even attempted to stop their incitement. The media don’t care and they are actually out there pushing more incitement via fake news stories like this.

Many CBP agents are actually minorities themselves. They are not the Gestapo and for Democrats and the media to keep playing this game is disgusting. Do we really have to wait until an agent is murdered before this crap stops? I fear the answer is yes.

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Arkansas sheriff’s deputy killed in shooting after responding to domestic call, police say

An Arkansas sheriff’s deputy was one of two people shot and killed Thursday after he responded to a call in a rural part of the state, police said.

Arkansas State Police spokesman Bill Sadler told reporters that Stone County Sheriff’s deputy Sergeant Mike Stephen, 56, was killed when a suspect opened fire as he was responding to a call in Leslie, about 77 miles north of Little Rock.

Westlake Legal Group Sheriff-Sergeant-Mike-Sephen Arkansas sheriff's deputy killed in shooting after responding to domestic call, police say Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/arkansas fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox news fnc/us fnc e98f390f-b688-5c05-bcc9-b3aed4fea45d article

Stone County Sheriff’s deputy Sergeant Mike Stephen (Facebook/Arkansas Fire News)

Sadler said Stephen went to a home at around 8:40 a.m. for a domestic welfare check and “gunfire erupted” while he was talking to a woman outside the house. Sadler added that a man was inside the home at the time and did not indicate who shot first or how many shots were fired.

He said Stephen and a male suspect, who has not yet been identified, were killed. The woman was taken to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

“The State of Arkansas has a heavy heart today,” Sadler told reporters on Thursday. “All too often now we’re getting calls that are resulting in the deaths of law enforcement officers, the individuals who are charged with the duty to keep peace in our communities, counties and across the state.”

OFF-DUTY POLICE OFFICER IN CRITICAL CONDITION AFTER BEING SHOT MULTIPLE TIMES: REPORT 

“There is no routine call in law enforcement, but what happened this morning began as about as routine as you can get,” Sadler went on. “But anything can happen anytime.”

Stephen had worked in law enforcement for 20 years and was a U.S. Army veteran, according to Stone County deputies. He was also the chief of the Pineville Fire Department.

Fellow deputies called Stephen an “extraordinary leader” who always wanted to be first on the scene.

“It is heartbreaking to hear that Stone County Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Stephen was killed in the line of duty today,” Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson tweeted on Thursday. “My heart goes out to his wife and son, and to his fellow officers and friends in their grief at this tragic loss.”

NEW JERSEY POLICE OFFICER FATALLY SHOOTS EX-WIFE, WOUNDS BOYFRIEND, PROSECUTORS SAY

Hutchinson ordered the United States flag and the state flag of Arkansas to fly at half-staff in Stephen’s honor.

Other police departments in Arkansas offered their condolences.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Stone County Sheriff’s Office and the family of Stone County Sergeant Mike Stephen, who was shot and killed in the line of duty this morning,” the North Little Rock Police Department tweeted on Thursday,

The tweet included the hashtags #GoneButNotForgotten and #BackTheBlue.

“Today, the State of Arkansas mourns the loss of a brave law-enforcement officer killed in the line of duty,” Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., tweeted. “Mike Stephen protected the people of Stone County, standing as part of the thin blue line separating our communities from crime and chaos.”

Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., tweeted that his prayers went out to Stephen’s family, friends and fellow law enforcement officers.

“He served his community in so many ways and laid down his life in the line of duty this morning,” Boozman wrote. “We honor his sacrifice.”

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In a Facebook post The Stone County Sheriff’s Department thanked everyone for the “prayers and kind words.”

“Our Blue family has lost a great man who wore the badge with pride and honor,” the post said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to Sergeant Mike Stephen’s Family,”

Police said the investigation is ongoing.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Sheriff-Sergeant-Mike-Sephen Arkansas sheriff's deputy killed in shooting after responding to domestic call, police say Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/arkansas fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox news fnc/us fnc e98f390f-b688-5c05-bcc9-b3aed4fea45d article   Westlake Legal Group Sheriff-Sergeant-Mike-Sephen Arkansas sheriff's deputy killed in shooting after responding to domestic call, police say Talia Kaplan fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/arkansas fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox news fnc/us fnc e98f390f-b688-5c05-bcc9-b3aed4fea45d article

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